As the calendar year draws to a close, navigating COVID-19 while caring for an older loved one may be a particular struggle for many.
Oftentimes, the holidays are an opportunity to check up on your older loved ones. But according to the Care.com COVID-19 Senior Care Survey, 41% of survey respondents won't be seeing their older loved ones in person this year.
This physical distancing can be very stressful for caregivers who want to know how their loved one is faring. And the social isolation that comes from distancing can take a toll on an older adult's physical and mental health. For that and other reasons, some families are turning toward technology aimed at older adults who may have limited experience with internet-connected devices. To get an idea of available resources, you may want to read caring.com's article reviewing the best tablets for seniors.
New technology isn't the only way to stay connected with your loved ones. A phone call can do wonders for lifting someone's spirit. While it is OK to express your genuine feelings of sadness or disappointment about not seeing each other, try to avoid too much discussion about stressful topics. Instead, focus your conversations on things you are grateful for right now. Trips down memory lane of past holidays can be uplifting for some, especially those adults showing signs of dementia.
Need more suggestions? Workingdaughter.com has useful tips for what to do if your parent is unable to have visitors, may be hospitalized, has difficulty communicating due to dementia, receives care from direct-care workers, and more.
As always, caregivers also need to focus on self-care to build their own resilience while caring for another. Remember that Hopkins' mySupport program has resources to help you with your holiday and caregiving stress.